Medical Ambassadors International Community Health Evangelism brings holistic transformation.

By November 24, 2005

Africa (MNN) — Kenyan economist James Shikwati boldly stated that more outside aid is not what Africa needs, that the aid does more harm than good.

It only creates outside dependence and more problems, agrees Medical Ambassador’s Gil Odendaal. He says it’s a hotly debated issue, but how to handle Africa’s problems comes down to the local level.

“There is absolutely no correlation between the amount of aid and the amount of change that takes place in the community. The countries and places where we’ve [seen] communities dramatically transformed – it’s like a seamless combination of evangelism and community development and preventative health – has been done on literally a shoestring budget.”

Odendaal stressed the importance of creating an environment where real change can take place, and that can happen through enabling the local people to understand the problems, learn how to handle those problems and then be given the opportunity to solve them.

Medical Ambassador’s Community Health Evangelism strategy is producing that kind of holistic transformation, says Odendaal, “We work through nationals. Our task is to equip and empower and build the capacity of local nationals. And our strategy is basically one of training people to train their own people.”

The key to Medical Ambassador’s work is understanding the importance and centrality of faith-based organizations, and their work in communities through local people and the local churches. It’s through His people that God is bringing about transformation of lives and communities, through the Gospel.

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